Distilled: Behind the concept of The Pint House

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From the May 9, 2013 edition

Many were anxious to see how The CGS Group — a partnership known for the downtown nightclub scene, originally with Long Street District and then Park Street — would approach a beer-focused bar in The Pint House.

“We built nightclubs because … we felt that’s what Columbus needed,” said The CGS Group partner Chris Corso. “In the Short North, I just kept hearing people talk about, ‘We just want a place where we can drink beer, have something to eat and hangout … like a normal bar.’”

Enter The Pint House, hardly a “normal bar.” Boasting a beer garden with an atrium-style roof and (coming soon) retractable windows in the front, a massive bar area in the rear and extensively posh renovations, The Pint House’s ambiance is a higher concept. The space is stunning.

On the beer side, the draft list includes 40 taps and 40 more brews in bottles and cans. The draft list is wide ranging — some crafts, some imports and some mass-produced American lagers.

“When I want to go to a true hardcore beer place, I’ve got certain buddies who won’t go that are Miller Lite, Bud Light drinkers,” Corso said. “Why do we need to do that? Why can’t we offer everything … that way you don’t alienate anyone.”

Corso also said the beer list was created by taking input from their customer base and working with nearby bars, like Bodega and Bernard’s Tavern, to make sure the Pint House offered something different. The bar takes requests and recommendations from patrons as well.

The most interesting concept of the The Pint House is it doesn’t serve pints. All 21-ounce drafts — “Our version of a pint; we give you a jumbo pint,” Corso said — are $6. Some higher ABV brews come in smaller, long-chalice style glasses and are also $6. Both glasses tie-in with the German beer garden theme.

Drinking at The Pint House is a curious experience. The staff is on-point and the beer flows freely. There’s a lively vibe running through the crowd and folks seem genuinely excited about beer. And occasionally, a merry group of bar hoppers will show up looking for “shots!”